John Thelwall (1764-1834)

The Crisis

It comes--the awful hour!--compatriots dear,
Who oft, confiding in my honest zeal
And keen attachments to the public weal,
Bent to my artless theme the partial ear;
Now search my breast with scrutiny severe:
That breast which, frequent in the swelling pride
Of youthful ardour, the stern threats defied
Of distant danger:
                              mark if now base fear
Palsy its boasted future--or if now
(Forgetful of the truths so oft upheld)
Abject beneath the imperious foot I bow
Of terror-vested power--suppliant!--depressed!
Or one emotion feel, but what the breast
Of Hampden or of Sidney might have swelled.

On the Rapid Extension of the Suburbs

How far, ye nymphs and dryads! must we stray
Beyond your once-loved haunts, ere we again
May meet you in your freshness? My young day
Has oft-time seen me in your sylvan train
Culling the wild-wood flowers, where now remain
Nor brake nor hedgerow, nor clear bubbling stream
To feed their fragrance, or the fervid ray
To mitigate; but to the flaunting beam
The domes of tasteless opulence display,
Shadeless, their glaring fronts; while the pure rill
That wont to parley, or by noon or night
With Phoebus' or with Dian's softer light,
Now through some drain obscene creeps dark and still,
To sweep the waste of luxury away.